Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Five dead in attack at British Parliament

Published:Thursday | March 23, 2017 | 3:00 AM
Emergency services transport an injured person to an ambulance, close to the Houses of Parliament in London yesterday.
Emergency services at the scene outside the Palace of Westminster, London, yesterday.
An attacker is treated by emergency services outside the Houses of Parliament London yesterday.
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LONDON (AP):

A knife-wielding man went on a deadly rampage in the heart of Britain's seat of power yesterday, plowing a car into pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge before stabbing a police officer to death inside the gates of Parliament.

Five people were killed, including the assailant, and 40 others were injured in what Prime Minister Theresa May condemned as a "sick and depraved terrorist attack".

Lawmakers, lords, staff, and visitors were locked down after the man was shot by police within the perimeter of Parliament, just yards (metres) from entrances to the building itself and in the shadow of the iconic Big Ben clock tower. He died, as did three pedestrians on the bridge, and the police officer.

A doctor who treated the wounded from the bridge said that some had "catastrophic" injuries. Three police officers, several French teenagers on a school trip, and two Romanian tourists were among the casualties.

Police said that they were treating the attack as terrorism. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Metropolitan Police counterterrorism chief Mark Rowley said that the police believed that there was only one attacker, "but it would be foolish to be overconfident early on". He said that an unarmed policeman, three civilians, and the attacker died. Forty others, including three police officers, were injured.

 

SUSPECT ISLAMIC EXTREMISM

 

Islamic extremism was suspected in the attack, Rowley said, adding that authorities believe they know the assailant's identity but would not reveal it while the investigation was ongoing.

The threat level for international terrorism in the UK was already listed at severe, meaning that an attack was "highly likely."

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street after chairing a meeting of government's emergency committee, COBRA, May said the level would not change. She said that attempts to defeat British values of democracy and freedom through terrorism would fail.

"Tomorrow morning, Parliament will meet as normal," she said. Londoners and visitors "will all move forward together, never giving in to terror and never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart".

United States President Donald Trump was among world leaders offering condolences, and in Paris, the lights of the Eiffel Tower were to be dimmed in solidarity with London.